An innovative and value-adding use for sheep wool was outlined by Keith Spilsbury from WoolCool at the Oxford Farming Conference on Wednesday.
Delegates heard how the company uses coarse wool, which typically comes from hill-breed sheep and is lower value, to make packing and insulation products.
The packaging is mainly used for artisan food products and the insulation is used in temperature sensitive animal vaccines.
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WoolCool bought 2.5m kg of greasy wool in 2019, which equates to around 10% of the UK clip.
“In the last year, we have prevented 75 Olympic swimming pools of polystyrene going into landfill,” Spilsbury said.
Despite sheep farmers receiving poor wool prices for successive seasons, Spilsbury was confident about the future of wool production.
He pointed to wool’s re-useable and biodegradable characteristics, and that it is made up of 51% carbon on average.
“Coarse wool is seen as a byproduct. We love that material, it works well in insulated packing,” Spilsbury maintained.
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